Like humans, dogs can sometimes dislocate their kneecaps. This is called “patellar luxation,” and it can cause dogs to limp or skip. Both trauma and genetic factors can contribute to this condition. In mild cases, physical therapy alone can be remarkably effective. However, more severe and chronic cases can require surgical intervention. Here are some of the basics of the diagnosis and treatment of patellar luxation for dogs.
Diagnosing Patellar Luxation in Dogs
Patellar luxation is often diagnosed with a combination of x-rays and physical exams. The condition is often evident during physical exams, but many veterinary professionals choose to confirm their findings with x-rays of the area. Imaging can also be used to monitor the progression of chronic cases and rule out any other conditions. Once a diagnosis has been made, veterinary professionals will grade the severity of the patellar luxation on a scale from one to four, with grade four being the most severe.
Differences Between Medial and Lateral Patellar Luxation for Dogs
Patellar luxation can be classified as either medial or lateral. Medial patellar luxation causes dogs to appear bowlegged, while lateral patellar luxation creates a knock-kneed appearance. Both can be treated effectively with surgery, though there are differences in the surgical procedures for each.
Surgical Correction Options
For dogs with more severe or chronic cases of patellar luxation, there are three main options for surgical correction: trochleoplasty, tibial tuberosity transposition, and imbrication and release procedures. Trochleoplasty is an option for dogs with an abnormally shallow trochlear groove, which is somewhat common for dogs with patellar luxation. This groove is deepened during a trochleoplasty in an effort to keep the patella in place. Tibial tuberosity transposition involves moving the tibial tuberosity (which connects the patellar ligament to the tibia) to correct the issue. For some dogs, the tibial tuberosity is detached, moved, then secured with pins. Finally, imbrication and release procedures involve tightening and loosening the tissues surrounding the knee. The procedures for medial and lateral patellar luxation can vary greatly from case to case.
Trust Maryland Veterinary Surgical Services With Your Pet’s Health
Your pet’s health is important, and the team at MDVSS is ready to provide the best care possible for your furry family. We are dedicated to combining comprehensive exams and assessments with informative and honest discussions of your pet’s care. Once we have worked with you to decide on the best course of action for your pet, our professionals will use their surgical expertise to work towards the goal of giving your pet an active and pain-free life. We are proud to serve pets in Catonsville and Baltimore. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 410-788-4088 or visit us online. For more information and tips for pet health, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.